Whether you’re a foodie, a chicken nugget connoisseur, a Disney pro, or a first timer, Walt Disney World offers some super under-the-radar dining experiences that can add value to your vacation.
Some provide a little education, others put you in touch with the animal kingdom, and still others are just plain fun.
Here are some special under-the-radar experiences you can
ONLY have at Walt Disney World…And ONLY The Pros Know About!
Dine with an Animal Specialist
If you love Disney’s Animal Kingdom — and the animal kingdom in general — you may want to Dine with an Animal Specialist. This delicious experience takes place at a private reserved table at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa, where participants will dine on the famed Indian-style bread service, plus entree options to suit every palate. (Find our latest review of Sanaa here to see what to expect!)
While you dine, you’ll hear from an Animal Specialist who will share facts about wildlife care, research, and conservation. Of course, you’ll also be able to look out onto one of the resort’s four savannas, where you just might spot some of the wildlife you’re talking about! And because this lunch is limited to 12 people (8 years and older only), there’s plenty of time to ask questions, too.
Cake Decorating Experience at Amorette’s Patisserie
There’s nothing better than learning cake decorating from true experts, and that’s just what guests receive when they sign up to participate in the Cake Decorating Experience at Amorette’s Patisserie. In this 90-minute experience, you’ll be guided by Amorette’s pastry chefs through the steps needed to decorate one of the Patisserie’s classic Mickey dome cakes.
Then you’ll get to decorate one of your very own! This small-group experience concludes with you taking home (or to your hotel!) your very own cake! Plus there are alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included in the fun. We reviewed this experience when it first began in 2017, and it was a blast! For guests looking to get a little creative, who love cake, or who want to see what goes into a pastry masterpiece, Amorette’s Cake Decorating Experience is a must!
Citricos Chef’s Domain
The Grand Floridian’s Citricos Chef’s Domain sets a table for eight and serves up a meal created just for your group! Chef’s Domain takes place in a private dining room with views of the kitchen that allow you to watch the culinary team make magic. Eats are inspired by the Mediterranean seaside and are accompanied by sommelier-recommended wine options.
Citricos Chef’s Domain is essentially the restaurant’s version of a chef’s table. You’ll want to reserve your seat at the table in advance for this delicious experience.
Dine with an Imagineer
In this small-group experience, diners will enjoy a good meal and even better conversation with a Walt Disney Imagineer! Guests are treated to a four-course meal in either Hollywood Studios’ Hollywood Brown Derby or Grand Floridian’s Citricos. Throughout the meal, they’ll hear stories from an Imagineer and are encouraged to ask questions.
This one-of-a-kind behind-the-scenes meal is a must-do for Disney fans who want to know how Disney makes magic! But the Dine with an Imagineer experience only happens about once a month, so you’ll want to book it in advance (and maybe even plan your trip around it!).
Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise
If you like to get a new perspective on the World, the Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise is a fun way to do so!
This experience carries guests aboard one of Disney’s ferryboats out onto Seven Seas Lagoon for a view of Happily Ever After! The experience begins with a beverage at the Transportation and Ticket Center, sets off with an entertaining crew that shares the backstory of the ferryboat, and includes a selection of treats and specialty drinks (alcoholic and non-) themed to the show! Kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt, too!
We reviewed the Ferrytale Fireworks when it began (click here to read all about it!), and it’s a bespoke way to enjoy a lovely night on the water — with a side of fireworks!
Highway in the Sky Dine Around
Progressive dining is the centerpiece of the Highway in the Sky Dine Around, a dining experience that takes guests from Disney’s Contemporary Resort to the Polynesian Village Resort, the Grand Floridian, and back to the Contemporary — all on Disney World’s own Highway in the Sky: the Monorail!
The meal begins with a cocktail and appetizer at The Wave…of American Flavors before it continues on to the Polynesian and its island-inspired drinks and apps.
Next, guests sip champagne and enjoy cheese and charcuterie at the Grand Floridian, where they’ll also be treated to the Chef’s main course at Citricos.
When the group returns to the Contemporary, they’ll receive desserts, cordials, and coffee on a private patio from which they’ll watch Happily Ever After. This experience sells out quickly, so be sure to reserve your spot early!
Wanyama Safari is another way to experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s savannas — and excellent dining! This 90-minute tour of the savannas includes an experienced guide who will share information about the animals around you as well as the history and management of the animals and the architecture of the resort. Bring your camera for some up-close pics of the savanna’s many inhabitants!
But safari-ing makes one hungry, so guests are treated to a selection of bites at Jiko — The Cooking Place in the ground floor of Jambo House! Eats may include North African-style chicken, African dips and breads, desserts, and South African wine pairings! Reserve your spot early, and prepare for a fun afternoon and evening!
It’s not hard to find a unique experience at Walt Disney World, but these offer something special that not so many guests know about. Have you tried them??